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Interconnected synchronicities: the production of Bombay and Glasgow as modern global ports c.1850–1880

  • Sandip Hazareesingh (a1)

Abstract

Cain and Hopkins' influential theory of British imperialism opted for a metropolitan-based model of explanation, rooted in the interests of a City-of-London-based class of ‘gentlemanly capitalists’, and discounting in the process events and experiences in the colonies and the significance of industrialization. By focusing on the simultaneous emergence of Bombay and Glasgow as modern, global ports in the second half of the nineteenth century, this article argues, in diametrical opposition, for a fresh perspective on the relationship between metropole and periphery, based on the concept of ‘interconnected synchronicity‘. This proposes that ‘imperial’ causation be viewed, at least from this period, as occurring in both arenas, based on a set of related and mutually transformative processes generated by the ‘globalizing’, commodity-driven imperatives of industrial capitalism.

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2 Ibid., p. 34.

3 Ibid., p. 43, 50–1.

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9 Dumett, Gentlemanly capitalism, pp. 10–11.

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11 Cain and Hopkins, British imperialism, pp. 4, 318, 348.

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13 Cain and Hopkins, British imperialism, pp. 40, 179.

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15 Cain and Hopkins, British imperialism, p. 334.

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29 Smith and Norton Wise, Energy and empire, pp. 675, 678.

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31 Mitchell Library Glasgow (henceforth MLG), Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Records (henceforth GCCR), Manchester Chamber of Commerce to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, 8 October 1867; ‘Minutes of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce for the year 1867’, p. 340.

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35 Ibid., p. 390.

36 BL, IOR, Newspapers on microfilm (henceforth NM), Bombay Gazette, 1 January 1870.

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43 David, Blackbourn, The conquest of nature: water, landscape and the making of modern Germany, London: Jonathan Cape, 2006, p. 153.

44 Riddell, John F., ‘Glasgow and the Clyde’, in Peter Reed, ed., Glasgow: the forming of the city, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999, p. 43.

45 MLG, T-CN series (news cuttings), ‘The Clyde shipbuilding trade in 1875’, The Scotsman, 30 December 1875.

46 Riddell, Clyde navigation, p. 127.

47 MLG, D-TC series, ‘Report by Mr. John F. Ure on the extension of the harbour of Glasgow, 3rd October 1854’, p. 12.

48 Riddell, Clyde navigation, p. 193.

49 MLG, NM, The Glasgow Daily Herald, 19 September 1877.

50 Riddell, Clyde navigation, pp. 216–17, 244–7.

51 Gordon Jackson and Charles Munn, ‘Trade, commerce, and finance’, in Fraser and Maver, Glasgow, Volume II, p. 68.

52 MLG, T-CN series, James King, ‘Memorial of the trustees of the Clyde Navigation as to dues on government stores for India’, 1887.

53 Smith and Norton Wise, Energy and empire, p. 729.

54 Deas, ‘The River Clyde’, p. 133.

55 MLG, T-CN series, The Scotsman, 30 December 1875.

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57 Robert J. Blyth, ‘Aden, British India, and the development of steam power in the Red Sea, 1825–1839’, in Killingray, Lincoln, and Rigby, Maritime empires, p. 68.

58 BL, IOR, Bombay Chamber of Commerce Reports (henceforth BCCR), ‘Report for the first quarter of 1839–40’, pp. 41, 62.

59 Forbes Munro, J., Maritime enterprise and empire: Sir William MacKinnon and his business network, 1823–93, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2003, pp. 44, 53; Muir, Augustus and Davies, Muir, A Victorian shipowner: a portrait of Sir Charles Cayzer, Baronet of Gartmore, London: Cayzer Irvine, 1978, pp. 19–20.

60 Fry, Michael, The Scottish empire, Edinburgh: Tuckwell, 2001, p. 261; School of Oriental and African Studies Archives, Mackinnon Papers (henceforth SOAS, MP), box 106, file 27.

61 Munro, Maritime enterprise, pp. 44–55.

62 Ibid., pp. 37–47, 64, 500.

63 Ferguson, Niall, Empire: how Britain made the modern world, London: Penguin Books, 2003.

64 Munro, Maritime enterprise, p. 61.

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70 Munro, Maritime enterprise, p. 501.

71 Ibid., pp. 36–7, 46, 49, 108.

72 Ibid., pp. 58, 82.

73 MLG, GCCR, ‘Minutes of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce for the year 1857’, p. 134.

74 MLG, GCCR, ‘Minutes of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce for the year 1861’, p. 403.

75 BL, IOR, PP, 1863, 44: Cultivation of Cotton in India: Correspondence 1860–3, part III – Bombay, M. J. Shaw Stewart to W. C. Anderson, 25 April 1861.

76 BL, IOR, NM, Bombay Gazette, 23 July 1870.

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78 Sulivan, Raymond J. F., One hundred years of Bombay: history of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce, Bombay: Times of India Press, 1936, p. 71.

79 Dwivedi, Sharada and Mehrotra, Rahul, Bombay: the cities within, Mumbai: India Book House, 1995, p. 129.

80 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: report of the third annual general meeting, 3rd September 1862’, p. 3.

81 Pratt, Edward, The Bombay wharves: how the right of way over them was lost to the public and the commerce of the port, London: J. Weare, 1881, pp. 3, 30–2.

82 Munro, Maritime enterprise, p. 103.

83 Report of the trial before the High Court of Justiciary: Her Majesty's Advocate against the directors and the manager of the City of Glasgow Bank, Edinburgh: The Edinburgh Publishing Company, 1879, p. 201.

84 SOAS, MP, box 101, file 24.

85 Munro, Maritime enterprise, p. 103; MLG, T-CN series, ‘Report on the annual meeting of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce’, North British Daily Mail, 12 January 1870.

86 Vicziany, Marika, ‘Bombay merchants and structural changes in the export community 1850 to 1880’, in K. N. Chaudhuri and C. J. Dewey, eds., Economy and society: essays in Indian economic and social history, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1976, pp. 173–4.

87 SOAS, MP, box 103, file 4, Fleming to Mackinnon, 17 November 1892.

88 SOAS, MP, box 106, file 27.

89 Report of the trial, pp. 161, 189, 195.

90 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: sixth report to the annual general meeting, 17 August 1865’, pp. 19–21.

91 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: third report, 3 September 1862’, p. 3.

92 MLG, T-CN series, Glasgow News, 17 April 1876; BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: sixth report’, p. 1.

93 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: fifth report’, p. 6; ‘Final report, 6 December 1870’, p. iv.

94 BL, IOR, NM, Bombay Gazette, 6 January 1873.

95 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: third report’, p. 1; ‘Seventh report, 15 August 1866’, p. 6.

96 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: eighth report, 28 August 1867’, p. 9; Christine Dobbin, Urban leadership in western India: politics and communities in Bombay city, 1840–1885, London: Oxford University Press, 1972, p. 131.

97 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: fourth report’, pp. 5–6.

98 Davis, Mike, Late Victorian holocausts: El Nino famines and the making of the Third World, London: Verso, 2001, p. 329.

99 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: fifth report’, p. 2.

100 Ibid., p. 4.

101 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: sixth report’, p. 9.

102 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: seventh report’, p. 23.

103 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: eighth report’, p. x.

104 BL, IOR, ‘Elphinstone Land & Press Co. Ltd: final report’, p. iv; BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Report for the year 1878–9’, Appendix M, p. 334.

105 BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Report for the year 1878–9’, Appendix M, p. 332.

106 Pratt, The Bombay wharves, pp. 55–6.

107 BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Report for the year 1878–9’, Appendix M, p. 332.

108 Ibid., p. 351.

109 Davis, Late Victorian holocausts, pp. 328–31.

110 BL, IOR, Bombay Port Trust Records (henceforth BPTR), ‘Administration report for the year 1877–8’, p. 49; ‘Administration report for the year 1878–9’, p. 54.

111 BL, IOR, BPTR, ‘Administration report to 31st March 1880’, p. 1.

112 BL, IOR, NM, ‘Report on native papers for the week ending 3rd April 1880’, Indian Spectator, 28 March 1880, p. 3.

113 BL, IOR, NM, Bombay Gazette, 3 January 1880.

114 BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, p. 115; BL, IOR, BCCR, George A. Kittredge, ‘Memorandum on wet docks’ in ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, pp. 132–3.

115 BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Report of the Chamber of Commerce Committee on wet docks’, in ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, pp. 111–12.

116 Kittredge, ‘Memorandum on wet docks’, pp. 127–30.

117 BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Report of the Chamber of Commerce Committee on wet docks: note of dissent from H. Ballard’, in ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, p. 113.

118 BL, IOR, BCCR, J. Macdonald to Bombay Chamber of Commerce, 12 November 1873, in ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, p. 148.

119 BL, IOR, BCCR, Secretary to the Government of India, Public Works Dept, to Secretary, Government of Bombay, Public Works Dept, 28 January 1874, in ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, pp. 149–50.

120 BL, IOR, NM, ‘The Prince's Dock’, The Times of India, 11 April 1879.

121 Ibid.

122 BL, IOR, BPTR, ‘Administration report for the year ending 31st March 1885’, p. iv.

123 BL, IOR, BPTR, ‘Administration report for the year ending 31st March 1884’, p. ii.

124 BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, p. 170.

125 BL, IOR, BCCR, ‘Memorial of native merchants and traders of Bombay against the proposed docks, 20th July 1874’, in ‘Report for the year 1873–4’, pp. 208–9.

126 ‘The Prince's Dock’.

Interconnected synchronicities: the production of Bombay and Glasgow as modern global ports c.1850–1880

  • Sandip Hazareesingh (a1)

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